Summary: Part 2 on a series studying the prophecy of Psalm 83 and the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
A Coalition of Hate
Part 2: The Stage Is Set (Obadiah and Jeremiah 49)
Last week we began a new sermon series based on some of the less studied and misunderstood prophecies of the Old Testament. I shared with you my belief that we are living in the final days before the return of Christ. As such I also believe that whatever we see occurring to the nation of Israel today has already been predicted to occur by the prophets of the Bible. In other words, I believe we should be able to find some specific prophecies in the Bible that are happening right before our eyes.
Now, since prophecy is centered around the Jewish people. If we are to find out if God has said anything about the times we are living in, we should look to see what is happening to the Jews. Today, we are witnessing Israel’s struggle with Palestinian refugees, militants, terrorists, and their hatred toward the Jews as a people and a nation. This conflict is affecting the entire world, and the world’s response is making matters more difficult for Israel by pressuring her to do things to her detriment.
We have watched since Israel’s national rebirth in 1948 how the surrounding Muslim nations have repeatedly tried to destroy Israel. The most recent attempt occurring just two years ago in the Second Lebanese War. While the world stumbles around in confusion God is not a bit surprised by what is happening to His people, because over 3000 years ago these events were foretold in His Holy Word. And anyone who cares to read and understand these prophecies should marvel as more and more evidence of God’s truth is being fulfilled before our eyes.
I. A Middle East War
A Middle East war is looming on the horizon. It is a battle whose purpose is to judge the nations of that region for how they treated the Jews, God’s chosen people, throughout the ages. Most Biblical scholars have read the prophetic passages concerning this event without full recognition of what is coming. Among those who do realize that a battle is being described, they usually place its occurrence in the final seven-year tribulation period of history.
But this battle is unique and different from either of the two major battles that most prophecy scholars recognize as occurring in the end times. This Middle East war is not the Battle of Gog and Magog; nor is it Armageddon. This battle precedes both of those, and we can see the players in this conflict jockeying for position on the nightly news.
Last week we read the prophet Asaph’s vision of modern events in Psalm 83:1-8. Let’s reread this passage together to remind ourselves what it says. “O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still.  See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads.  With cunning they conspire against your people [Jews]; they plot against those you cherish [Jews].  “Come,” they say, “Let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.”  With one mind the plot together; they form an alliance against you –  the tents of Edom [Palestinians, and S. Jordan], and the Ishmaelites, [Saudi Arabia], of Moab [central Jordan] and the Hagrites [Egypt],  Gebal [N. Lebanon], Ammon [N. Jordan] and Ammalek [Negev, S. Israel], Philistia [Gaza Strip and Hamas], with the people of Tyre [S. Lebanon and Hezbollah].  Even Assyria [Syria and N. Iraq] has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot [Moab and Ammon above].
This little-studied psalm shows us that at some point in Israel’s national existence they are going to be confronted with possible annihilation at the hands of a coalition of enemies bent on wiping them off the face of the earth. I told you the modern equivalent of the ancient names of Israel’s enemies and we compared them to the map of the Middle East. If you brought your map back with you, you will notice that all of these enemies are Israel’s immediate neighbors. They all have fought battles against Israel in the past 60 years and lost. They all share borders with her. And they are all predominately Muslim countries.
We also noted that the driving force behind this alliance of nations was the Palestinian push for their own national identity in the land promised to Israel.
That brings us up to date and begs the questions: how is this prophecy going to play out, what will the results be, and when will this prophecy take place? We are going to try to answer these questions in the next few weeks by studying what God has revealed through the words of His prophets given thousands of years ago.